American Idol

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Whoa! Boundaries!

They have these cool things of Adam and Kris that they filmed at their auditions last summer, standing in the blue boxes and saying meaningless things -- "I'm one of a billion or whatever," "I have these dreams and whatever" -- and it's cool because forethought is always cool, but how crazy is it to think of the thousands of those hopeful little clips in a box somewhere, down to just these two? Which I guess is the point, but man.

I'm really curious about how they're going to position this. Last year was easy, because they were both Davids and they actually were very different, but this week they just seem like a couple of affable, talented dudes. In the opening Adam's all lit with devilish red light and Kris with heavenly blue, but I don't think it's going to go that way. I think the election and the last horrible eight years are still too much with us, so it's natural to think it's going to be about normal vs. not normal anymore. That whole Red State/Blue State thing seems really obsolete at this point. The only people still yelling about it are the stupider conservatives who think you can actually describe a person in those terms, but I don't mind them, because they've been buying that one for so long it would be impossible to explain at this point.

I think this is more like Hillary/Obama: one of them is smart but sort of scary, and the other one is nice and sexy, but needs his girlfriend to get spiders out of the shower. And I feel about this show now the way I felt about the Democratic primary last year, which is that I don't really care who wins, because one of them is going to win, so either way everybody in the whole world wins even if they don't know it. So the presence of gay-adjacent Camryn Manheim notwithstanding, I don't think it's about that.

So let's ask gay-adjacent Ryan Seacrest what it's really about. He says: they don't know either. "Acoustic Rocker vs. Glam Rocker, Conway vs. California, Guy Next Door vs. Guyliner" is what it's about. Those are ... words. I keep looking for the semiotics of this matchup and I can't find them. I think the producers were as shocked by the Gokey elimination as everybody else was, and just didn't even have time to scramble. "Let's just go with Everybody Wins and say fuck it."

But I mean, if American Idol is the barometer of what's up in America, and even the show itself is over those silly polarities... Let's see what they choose for the songs. Right, that's this time? The Dread Lord chooses a song? Or not him, the sickly looking one. Simon Fuller. That'll tell us what's really going on. Like if they pick "Tainted Love" for Adam or some kind of Jesus America song for Kris, we'll know. I can't believe I'm so tired after the last decade of being a grownup that I find it so hard to believe there's not an agenda. Especially a unifying one, considering Fox makes more money off that hateful bullshit than anybody.

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American Idol




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